A Swiss-style link with EU ‘could have saved British families £428 every year’ Switzerland’s long and largely successful relationship with the European Union – an on-off engagement that has never got as far as a marriage – has come in for huge praise from one of Britain’s top economists. Ruth Lea, former head of the policy unit at the Institute of Directors and a governor of the London School of Economics, has carried out detailed research into the history of the bilateral negotiations between Berne and Brussels. And she has reached the conclusion that if Britain could have agreed on a similar armslength relationship with the EU every family in Britain would be saving £428 a year. Now, of course, the Lisbon Treaty has been ratified by all EU member states and has become part of British law. Ruth Lea’s research team worked
out that Britain’s negotiators should have been able to claw back up to £10.8 billion every year. In her wide ranging survey she reports: “British taxpayers pour huge amounts of money into the EU’s coffers and really don’t get a very good deal in return.” And she says a Swiss style relationship – retaining free trade access to EU markets and
voluntarily cooperating in other areas – would have let Britain regain control of key policy areas. After an early career at the Treasury, Ruth Lea has held a number of top jobs in the City of London, ranging from directorships to advisory positions with leading names like Mitsubishi Bank, Lehman Brothers, Global Vision and the Arbuthnot Banking Group.
Swiss church reopens
With its £2.2 million renovation complete after many months work, the Swiss Church in Covent Garden has reopened. See Page 6.
Alphorns move into UK
More Swiss now living in the UK The number of Swiss citizens living in the UK has now reached 28,825. This is 1,467 more than were registered at the end of 2008. There has been a similar increase in the circulation of the Swiss Review, which is printed in St Gallen four times a year and is distributed from Berne to every Swiss home in the UK. The latest figures show that only 24 per cent of Swiss adults eligible to vote in federal initiatives and referenda have registered to do so. To apply for the right to vote simply call the Embassy on 020 7724 7001. Alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
The sound of the alphorn is echoing in more and more parts of Britain. Meet the Lancashire pair who are taking it round the country on Pages 4-5
Winston Churchill’s dilemma
Chocks away! SWISS puts on record number of flights between the UK and Switzerland Following a profitable 2009 SWISS new daily frequencies from International Airlines is this month Heathrow to Geneva, which we have increasing the number of flights been able to add in response to between the UK and Switzerland, customer demand. boosting its services between the “They increase the number of two countries to 430 flights every daily flights to Switzerland by up to week. Busiest route is between 33 per cent. Heathrow and Geneva, with six daily “We are confident our prime flights between 7am to 7.30pm. schedules, competitive all-inclusive In addition, the airline is offering fares and, importantly for leisure four flights a day between London travellers, free transportation of ski City and Geneva, as well as adding equipment will prove popular with an additional frequency to Zurich on our passengers. Saturdays. “Geneva is the primary gateway A jubilant Gregor Koncilja, UK to the Swiss, French and Italian manager for SWISS, said the Alps, and an important destination increasing number of flights was due Gregor Koncilja: ‘London Heathrow to for many West London based Britons to the company’s strong financial Geneva route is now top of our agenda’ owning properties in the region”. situation. SWISS have flights linking At a time when other airlines had been posting heavy Heathrow, London City, Manchester and Birmingham losses, SWISS had enjoyed a net profit of CHF 113 with Geneva, Zurich and Basle. million (£66.8 million) for the first nine months of 2009. From its three Swiss hubs the company’s fleet of 86 He said the Heathrow-Geneva route was ‘now top of aircraft serves 90 destinations in 42 countries around our radar’, and added: ‘We are delighted by these six the world. GBR E
The wartime Prime Minister who had to make a life and death decision in the darkest days of World War II. See the revelation on Page 7.
Switzerland in the UK has its own Internet site, continually bringing you up to the minute news of the latest events as well as major stories from the most recent issues and links to other interesting sites in both the UK and Switzerland. To access it go to: www.swissreview.co.uk News about any forthcoming events that will be of interest to our readers should be emailed to: email@example.com
Ticinese celebrate the life of Peter Jacomelli
Joe Brogglnl: One of many speakers who recalled highlights of Peter's life
Peter Barber: Spoke about the many links between London and the Ticino
It was both a night to remember and a night for remembering, when members of the Unione Ticinese and the New Helvetic Society gathered at the Swiss Embassy to recall the very active life of one of their best loved members, Peter Jacomelli. Seventy relatives and friends heard president Ian Giuliani recall Peter’s long service to the society, which he had joined in the early 1930s and was still its honorary vice president at the time of his death. He said that one lasting memorial to Peter was the PJ Youth Fund, aimed at rewarding exemplary efforts by young Ticinese members of the UT. The evening raised just under £550 for the fund, including a lottery for a painting, ‘Orient in Ticino’, which had been donated by the artist, Yong Sun Mazzucchelli, and which was won by Paul Gruhn. Another prize winner, in a photo caption contest, was Rose Marie Breitenstein, UT archivist Peter Barber spoke about Peter Jacomelli’s close relationship between his place of birth in London and his ancestral home of
Paul Gruhn with his prize, an original painting by Yong Sun Mazzucchelll
Semione in the Ticino, and Joe Broggini recalled many aspects of Peter’s colourful life. Jeffrey Long promised to boost the income to the PJ Youth Fund by walking 93 miles (Peter would have been 93 this year) from his birthplace to the Swiss Embassy, visiting places and people of significance to Peter’s life en route. It was, said Ian Giuliani, “an amazing and very generous offer” which would give a great potential boost to the fund. Pictures by Daniel Pedroletti.
Unione Ticinese president Ian Giullani and long standing UT member Rose Marie Breitenstein and the photo for which she wrote the winning caption
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Anton Mosimann’s Christmas pud was ‘a butcher’s special’ It started with a chance meeting between Swiss celebrity chef Anton Mosimann and an old friend, Hans Baumann, who used to be manager of the iconic Swiss Centre Restaurants that formed part of the now-demolished Swiss Centre in London’s Leicester Square. Their conversation turned to preparations for Christmas, and Hans Baumann, now managing director of one of Britain’s leading mail order companies, Scottish beef, lamb and game specialists Donald Russell, told how he was
The Mosimann pudding: Today lighter and healthier, but still as tasty
about to introduce a completely new line – of old fashioned fruit crumbles. Anton recalled his own creation of a Christmas pudding many years ago, which had won every media taste challenge when it was first launched. Could he make it again for the Donald Russell catalogue? He could, but this time he would do it differently. As with all the old classic Mosimann recipes, he would change the ratio of ingredients, making it lighter and healthier to suit modern tastes. But, with only weeks before the Christmas rush period, could it be done it time to meet the demands of a modern mail order campaign? New product development normally takes months of preparation, from planning, tasting, producing, packaging, labelling and shelf life considerations to marketing. Recalled Stefan Kôlsch of Donald Russell: “It was an exciting and fast process. But we managed it – just in time.”
Anton Mosimann: Giving a new twist to an old traditional recipe
Anton Mosimann recommends two different sauces to go with his Christmas pudding: Brandy sauce: Whisk together four egg yokes, 50g (2oz) icing sugar and 30ml (2 tbsp) white wine in a bowl over a pan of boiling water until thick and smooth. Whisk 30ml (2 tbsp) of warm brandy into the mixture and serve at once. Yoghurt sauce: Mix 200g (8oz) low fat Greek yoghurt with 75ml (5 tbsp) of skimmed milk. Add the juice of half a lemon, together with a pinch of cinnamon and 30ml (2 tbsp) of honey and serve cold.
Repor ts of Swiss society activities and coming events, and ar ticles and cor respondence for the ‘Switzer land in the UK’ section of the Swiss Review, should go to the editor: Derek Meakin 30 Manor Road Bramhall SK7 3LY. Tel: 0161 296 0619. His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. All enquiries regarding advertising should go to: Jeffrey Long 19 Heather Court Bradford BD16 4BA. Tel: 01274 560 780. The Swiss Review, with its ‘Switzerland in the UK’ supplement, is published four times a year – in January, April, August and October. The deadline for the next issue, to be published in April, is March 16.
Sales blitz on British architects More than 23,000 British architects are being invited to consider using Swiss building products in future developments. It is part of a new campaign by the Embassy-based Swiss Business Hub UK to promote the use of sustainable materials, an area in which Swiss companies have been making substantial progress. The latest products from Switzerland will be displayed in the Swiss Pavilion at the giant Ecobuild Exhibition being held at Earls Court in March. JustSwiss will be building an ‘off-the-shelf’ prefabricated timber frame house and will be demonstrating how house energy can be saved by reducing heating and cooling costs. Schoeb AG will be showing how homes can be heated by using warmth from the outside air or ground water. Other exhibitors include Lehmann Arnegg AG, a former cabinetmaker that is now a major international supplier, and Virtuellbau, which claims to be the biggest group of craftsmen in Switzerland, with a 3,000-strong team of specialists.
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Yes, the English play Alphorns, too …but they like to go to Switzerland to practise A chance encounter with an alphorn at Wengen in 1987 was a magical moment for professional French horn players Helen and Neil Grundy. They fell in love with the instrument, bought a wooden mouthpiece as a souvenir and five years later met alphorn maker Willi Michel of Lauterbrunnen – and were hooked. They borrowed alphorns, took them into the street to practise, and were immediately invited to take part in a local folklore evening. But it was another ten years before they realised their dream of having their own alphorns. They took them with them on a
holiday in Grindelwald, and within hours they were on top of the Männlichen mountain ridge joining 100 alphorn players at the annual Grosses Alphorntreffen. Since then they have been back many times, to play at street festivals and in mountain restaurants… and to make the most of every opportunity to practise their new found skills in many parts of the magnificent Bernese Oberland. Back home they lead a busy professional life. Neil is associate principal horn with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, while Helen is in great demand to play
with major orchestras. But they cannot resist invitations to demonstrate their alphorns to English audiences. Last year they were soloists with the university wind orchestra in Sheffield Cathedral. They have played in Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, Exeter Cathedral, at events in Plymouth, Bolton and Macclesfield, and were the star attraction at Manchester Swiss Club’s First of August celebration. • A video is at http://news.bbc.co. uk/1/hi/england/7535478.stm
During their recent holiday in the Grindlewald region the couple gave many impromptu performances for the benefit of hikers: at Pffinsteg (top left), First (bottom left), Zwgarten (top right) and Bussalp (bottom right)
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New-look Swiss church opens on time
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Despite fears that it wouldn’t be completed by the deadline, workmen put in a last-minute effort to ensure that the completely renovated Swiss Church would re-open its doors on
time. The church, in London’s Covent Garden, was packed for the occasion, with the regular congregation joined by many guests, including Swiss Ambassador Alexis Lautenberg, Camden Mayor Omar Faruque Ansari, and the Rev Thomas Wipf, President of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches. ‘It was a very special moment in the history of the church,” said the Minister, Rev Nathalie Dürmüller. “With its excellent location and fine acoustics it will now be an important meeting point which will benefit many people.” Services are being held on the first and third Sunday every month, but it will also be home for a variety of cultural and social events. There will be a new series of concerts on the last Thursday of each month, starting with an organ recital on January 28. This will be given by Mark Williams, a prominent
figure on the international music scene. The evening will start with an introduction to the church's new Späth organ by Hilary Davan Wetton. Future events include: • February 25: In Memoriam Edwin Fischer, who died 50 years ago. Pianist Patrizio Mazzola, winner of the Edwin Fischer Memorial Prize, will be playing some of Fischer's best loved pieces, as well as one of his own compositions. • March 25: Woodwind quintet, the London Myriad Ensemble, who won first prize in the second International Jewish Music Competition last year, will be performing a varied programme of wind music. An appeal for sponsors for the new organ pipes has brought in £37,170 for 188 pipes. But there are a further 509 still to be ‘sold’. Offers should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Jeffrey just keeps on walking! Always-on-the-move Jeffrey Long, who three years ago made history by walking 1,000 kilometres from London to Lausanne, has got itchy feet again. This Easter the 78 year old former president of FOSSUK plans to walk 127.5 miles alongside the canal from Liverpool to Leeds. His purpose is to raise money for the Little Heroes Cancer Trust, which supports children in the cancer ward of St. James hospital in Leeds, one of Britain’s leading cancer treatment centres. Anyone who would like to sponsor the walk is asked to send a cheque, made out to The Little Heroes Cancer Trust, to Jeffrey at 19 Heather Court, Bingley BD16 4BA, or call him on 01274 560 780. • See also the story about his Peter Jacomelli Memorial Walk on Page 2.
The big question that faced Churchill: Should we bomb the Swiss? With the country on its knees and with the Battle of Britain raging in the skies above South East England, desperate Prime Minister Winston Churchill faced an agonising decision: “Should I order the RAF to bomb neutral Switzerland?” Gathering together his military advisers and pouring over a giant map of Europe in his War Room buried deep under Whitehall, he pointed to the black lines showing the railways sneaking through the Alps linking Germany with its ally Italy. Growing intelligence from British agents in Switzerland and Swiss simpathisers clearly showed the strategic importance of the three vital links between the Axis powers. Two of them passed through Switzerland – over the Simplon and the Gothard. The third was the Brenner line from Austria. Churchill’s dilemma came to
In the bunker: Churchill directing the war from underground headquarters.
a head on January 26, 1941, and he knew he had to make a decision. According to research carried out by political historian Michael Bloch, who has been piecing together the events of that momentous time from Churchill’s personal archives, he sought the advice of both the Air Ministry and the War Office. “We’ve got to stop these transports at all costs,” he wrote, pointing out that 200,000 tonnes of coal were being carried to Italy every week, as well as massive quantities of oil. But the service chiefs were not in favour of Churchill’s plan. The bombing could well provoke the German army
to invade Switzerland, set up a string of anti-aircraft guns to protect the railway lines and make the tiny country another satellite of the Third Reich. The idea was dropped. The Swiss, who were very much in favour of the British throughout the war, were left in peace. And Churchill himself paid tribute to them when the conflict was over. “Of all the neutrals Switzerland has the greatest right to distinction,” he said. “She has been a democratic State, standing for freedom in selfdefence among her mountains, and in thought, in spite of race, largely on our side.”
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‘Young ambassadors’ find out what makes Switzerland tick Thanks to a unique initiative between the BBC and the Swiss Embassy, eight young Britons from disadvantaged backgrounds have been on a whistle stop tour of Switzerland to find out how Swiss employers help enhance the skills of their young apprentices. The eight, chosen as “All Stars” through BBC Sport’s social inclusion programme, are all between the ages of 16 and 25. They were selected through a series of community festivals, where they were taking part in a range of sport, music and media activities. And they were hailed as potential community leaders of the future. The link with Switzerland came about when the organisers heard about the pioneering work done there by businesses providing special long-term apprenticeships. They were impressed by the way employers play an important role in the development of further educational opportunities by providing sponsored apprenticeships for two thirds of Swiss school leavers. It is expected this successful model could be incorporated in UK government plans to encourage many firms to enhance their own apprenticeship opportunities in a similar way. During their Swiss tour the
Visiting the Swiss Embassy in London before their trip, the winning ‘All Star’ line up with Ambassador Alexis Lautenberg
young ambassadors compared notes with many Swiss apprentices, and their get-togethers are being incorporated into a video diary which is to be broadcast by the BBC. Among the places they visited was a Zurich theatre, the offices of financial giant Swiss Re, and
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the Swiss Institute of Sport at Magglingen, near Berne. Some of their comments afterwards: Aaron Cardozo: “An amazing experience with amazing people.” Louise Irvine: “It made me see opportunities for my own personal development. It has been a life
changing experience and has helped me reflect on my life and my journey so far.” Liam Willie: “Meeting these wonderful people has changed my outlook on life.” Darren Viney: “The best bit was visiting Swiss Re because I met a lovely girl called Nina.”